Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Kids Are All Right

I’d like to take a moment to give myself a little pat on the back.
I have excellent taste in friends.
I think this is no small accomplishment, particularly since I am well known for making poor choices in general.  But when it comes to choosing friends?  I rock.  And apparently I always have.
I recently had a whirlwind weekend adventure with one friend I hadn’t seen in nearly a decade, and two others I hadn’t seen since high school.  It was the sort of thing that could have been a shitstorm of awkward moments.  Instead, it was an absolute blast.
If our younger selves could have glimpsed us - nibbling tapas, sipping drinks, laughing hysterically and sharing meandering tales of our lives in locations near and far - I think they’d be amused as hell.  They’d also be pleased that we didn’t call it a night at nine p.m., but instead made our way to a show and rocked on, drinking beer from plastic cups, into the wee hours of the morn.  That I was only carded because I had tickets at will-call is beside the point.
Today one of my new favorite bloggers, Aussa Lorens, posted about the wistful way autumn nudges us to reflect on the past and make plans for the future.  Summer girl that I am, I have always found fall especially bittersweet.  I am reluctant to trade my flip flops for boots, yet the storyteller within me is romanced by the chill in the air and the smell of woodsmoke.  I also find myself haunted by the ghosts of plans never realized, the trail of losses inevitable in life.  While I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences and have checked a fair number of accomplishments off my lifetime to-do list, there always seems to be more I have yet to attain.
But my friends…
I am sometimes amazed at how lucky I am to have so many kind, funny, creative people in my life.  Old and new, my friends remind me that while we cannot help the losses in life, the successes are worth celebrating.  We who were once thrown out of school for everything from questionable fashion choices (exposed nipple rings, anyone?) to day drinking in math class are now running successful businesses, creating art and music, exploring nature, raising children, rising above tragedy, doing our part to leave the world a little bit better than we found it.  I’m not sure what kind of youthful trouble the friends I met later in life have under their belts, but I know that whether they were buttoned-down overachievers or wild, fired-up messes, their experiences helped shape them into the sorts of people I am very, very glad crossed my path.
This year, as I move from bare toes in the sand to the crackle of a fire warding off that seaside chill, I will try to think less of what’s missing and more of the amazing blessings I can count as mine.
Real friendship, of course, chief among them.

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